lee_didio_meet_publishers_sdcc_2013616921976We are coming up on the final bits and pieces of coverage we took from this year’s San Diego Comic-Con – yes, I know the convention ended eight days ago, but it turns out we had a lot of video to sort through, and a significant percentage of that video needed extensive processing on an actual computer in order to make it into something that YouTube would recognize as a video file, as opposed to some form of data wad, or perhaps a Word file detailing our manifesto and list of demands.

But the computer has done its work and dinged like a toaster oven (as we all know computers do), so we are finally proud to present a series of videos from DC Comics’s Meet The Publishers panel, held on Sunday, July 21st and featuring Co-Publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio. And you can say what you want about, say, DiDio (God knows we do, repeatedly), but there is no denying that the guy runs an entertaining panel with an infectious enthusiasm, which even Lee gets caught up in.

This was a fun panel, and we’re happy to bring you, a day late and a buck short, a small piece of it, along with some art that was shown to crowd at the panel. You can check them out after the jump.


superman_unchained_1_cover_2013I’ve had some issues with Superman ever since his New 52 reboot. Because frankly, through the eyes of hindsight, Superman’s reboot was kind of a schizo mess.

On one hand, we had Grant Morrison on Action Comics, showing Superman as a kid in a t-shirt with a reduced powerset punching out millionaires. At the same time, Superman was going full blast in his own title, separated from Lois Lane and having big adventures, all while the original writer was screeching about editorial interference and jumping off midstream, leaving the title in the capable hands of the man who rebooted Starfire to be an amnesiac cockmonger. In the meantime, Morrison made Superman’s invulnerability partially contingent on some weird Kryptonian battle armor, and then Geoff Johns had Superman start chucking the meat to Wonder Woman. And that’s all if you ignore what’s happening in the out-of-continuity, video game tie-in title Injustice: Gods Among Us, where Superman is following “The American Way,” if by that you mean, “Ruthlessly enforcing order through the use of constant pervasive surveillance.”

That’s all gone on in just 21 months, and while it might be all well and good for your average rabid comics fan, there’s not much that screams, “It’s Superman!” to Joe Blow on the street… and that is a problem when DC’s last, best hope for creating a Marvel-style movie empire is Man of Steel – a Superman movie opening, well, tomorrow. And imagine that one-in-a-thousand moviegoer who is lucky enough to live in a neighborhood like mine, where there is a movie theater a block away from a comic store, and who leaves Man of Steel, wanders to that comic store and buys everything he sees with Superman on the cover… only to find a dude in armor making out with Wonder Woman when he isn’t incinerating banana republics for disobeying his orders.

Enter Scott Snyder, Jim Lee and Superman Unchained: a Superman story that uses the new costume and Superman’s New 52 status quo, but is still identifiably an old-school Superman story with an identifiable Big Blue Boy Scout, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen and everything else that that mythical Some Dude Walking Into A Comic Store After Man of Steel might expect. And it should act as a pretty solid entry point for any non-comic readers that Man of Steel might attract…

…except for that fucking poster, which is an abominable choice.


EDITOR’S NOTE: I’ve had the blues, the reds and the pinks; one thing’s for sure: love spoils.

Well, that’s the end of the first year of the first post-reboot Justice League since Crisis On Infinite Earths back in 1986. That Justice League, at the end of its first year, had established itself as a solid action book with an interesting character-based humor element… and was already on its way to becoming far more focused on the comedy than it was on the action. It short, its best days were already gone by that first anniversary, having given or on its way to giving Guy Gardner a 70s sitcom level personality change, The Martian Manhunter an Oreo fetish, and Booster and Beetle a harebrained get-rich-quick scheme of the month.

So how does Justice League #12 compete? Well, by going in the opposite direction, coming out of an only okay character-based story while promising, in a Geoff Johns patented epilogue, action-packed tales including an attack by Atlantis, battles between Superman and Batman and Shazam, and a possible conflict between The Justice League and the recently-announced Johns and David Finch produced Justice League of America.

Oh, and it seems that we will spend some time witnessing Superman boning Wonder Woman. But you already knew that, and we’ll get back to that in a minute.


You might have heard that, starting in Justice League #12, writer Geoff Johns and artist Jim Lee will be starting a storyline where Superman and Wonder Woman take their relationship, shall we say, to the next level. They go from friends, to friends with benefits, provided my “benefits” you mean “The Kryptonian Armpit Gank.”

We didn’t jump on this story here at Crisis On Infinite Midlives because, after nearly 40 years of reading comics, this isn’t our first rodeo – we’ve seen these two crazy kids bump overidealized comic book uglies in Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Strikes Again, and saw it intimated in Mark Waid and Alex Ross’s Kingdom Come, plus if you can spell the words “comic” and “slash” and find the enter key on your laptop, you can get all the super sucky-fucky you can shake your stick at. Besides, these things come and go in the comics – remember when Batman almost chucked the Bat Meat to Zatanna? These things never last, and we figured we’d address it in our review of the issue.

That is, until DC decided to hype the story by setting up profiles for Superman and Wonder Woman on Match.com.


It’s not even a year yet, but Bleeding Cool is running an article that reports DC is “making a number of approaches to what could only be described as the A-List of modern comics to sign up for a twelve issue run on Justice League, to replace Jim Lee.” While Geoff Johns will remain on the book as the writer, apparently DC is looking to lock down art talent for the next few years – including as yet unnamed individuals who are currently working for Marvel. Oooo! The plot thickens!

Just who could or would step into Jim Lee’s shoes? Could it be frequent Johns’s collaborator, Ivan Reis? Would DC steal Marc Silvestri back from whatever projects he’s engaged in, assuming he’s done icing his shoulder after penciling those couple Incredible Hulk books last fall and that variant cover of The Walking Dead #100 for Robert Kirkman over at Image? Would DC lure Greg Land away from Marvel’s Uncanny X-Men to turn his pornbox light on for Wonder Woman?


This past weekend, DC Entertainment Co-Publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee attended the Los Angeles Festival of Books. Why attend a straight book festival when the perfectly good Boston Comic Con was occurring on the same weekend? I’m guessing because if you’re gonna be forced to answer difficult and uncomfortable questions about the upcoming Before Watchmen, it’s probably easier to do it when they’re not being asked by, say, Fat Hispanic Superman.

And, at the DC Entertainment Presents: Watchmen – It’s Not The End, It’s The Beginning panel, difficult questions were asked, specifically related to the commonly held perception that the stack of prequel miniseries were personally and intimately screwing Alan Moore in a way that makes American prison showers so inviting. Specifically, one panelist asked Lee how he reconciled Moore’s issues with the prequels:


Justice League #6 is the most memorable and remarkable of the title’s relaunch for two reasons, the first being that it is packed with the kind of cover-to-cover superhero action that you want from a team comic book. The second is that it contains a splash page depicting Cyborg with a stance and facial expression that, minus any context, looks like he’s taking a savage and angry dump so terrible it might alter his religious beliefs. Which is as good an example of the schizo feeling this book has instilled in me for the past six months.

Let’s start off for a change on a positive note: this is one hell of a superhero fight. Writer Geoff Johns establishes the stakes early, showing a desperate family trying to escape the Armageddon that is occurring as Green Lantern, Flash, Wonder Woman, Aquaman and Cyborg battle Darkseid in the middle of a city. The battle is visceral, the feeling that the heroes are throwing every Goddamned thing they can think of at Darkseid, who is drawn by Jim Lee as solid, giant and implacable. This is the kind of epic throwdown that I’ve been wanting from Justice League from the word go… which is a damn good thing because many of the characters still act as if they’re recovering from a partial lobotomy.

Johns’s characterizations have been problematic throughout this arc. Yes, I understand this is a reboot, but the youngest character in this book, in terms of creation date, is Cyborg, who has almost a third of a century of previous characterization history behind him. And sometimes we get glimmers of the long-established behaviors of the characters, but other times they act like they were created by Rob Liefeld in a 1990 cocaine twitch. Sometimes within two panels.


I think I finally have realized the reason behind the vague sense of dissatisfaction, if not downright unease, that I’ve been feeling reading Geoff Johns’s and Jim Lee’s Justice League: these characters don’t act right. At best, they act like versions of the original characters that have suffered an extended and untreated fever, or perhaps some period of natural gas-related asphyxia, or some other unknown cause of mild brain damage.

I get that these are supposed to be the members of the Justice League at the beginning of their careers, and therefore it’s probably to be expected that their personalities are somewhat different than we’re used to. Which, as ideas go, is not a bad way to go, and one that could drive many character-driven stories. Unfortunately, over the course of five issues, it’s become apparent that Johns has decided that the primary difference in character is that five years ago, the World’s Greatest Superheroes were Complete Motherfucking Idiots.


"Diana, please, I just want to get to know you." "Screw you, man! You're not my real dad!" "But, I have *alimony*..."

Look, frankly I was going to go to bed but, as I take after my own dad, I have an affinity for Scotch and rolling into work egregiously hungover. My liver knows its place and will do as its damn told. Now, what was I talking about…? Oh, yeah, Wonder Woman.

See, here’s the thing, today Josh Kushins posted this on the DCU Blog:

In DC COMICS-THE NEW 52, Wonder Woman will have a new origin, in which she is the daughter of Hippolyta … and Zeus! In recent interviews, writer Brian Azzarello and artist Cliff Chiang have teased that readers should expect the unexpected in this edgier, horror take on the superhero genre ­and the king of the gods will ensure that nothing goes as planned for his defiant daughter.

Originally created by the goddess Aphrodite and raised to perfection on the Amazon island of Themiscyra, the newest incarnation of Wonder Woman has a new costume and now a new origin ­ but she remains Wonder Woman. Strong. Proud. Fearless. WONDER WOMAN is the 12th title in DC COMICS-THE NEW 52 to sell more than a 100K copies.


Heidi MacDonald of The Comics Beat did a pretty thorough interview with Jim Lee about the DC relaunch of Justice League #1 this past Wednesday.

A bunch of comic stores in New York City did midnight sales Tuesday night / Wednesday morning, and Jim talks about how he and Geoff Johns brought pizza to the comics fans waiting in line:

I’ve seen midnight openings for video games and movies, but I’ve not seen a store signing at midnight with creators before — certainly not at DC. Geoff and I wanted to go the extra step and be there in person for people who are so into a comic that they were willing to forgo sleep.

Oh, Jim… I know you’ve been to San Diego Comic-Con… how can you be surprised that a fan would be willing to forgo sleep when you know full well that many of us are perfectly willing to forgo bathing?

(via Salon)